‘Nigeria now worse than Banana Republic’

•Mailafia Obadiah, Utomi, Adamolekun, others give verdict as they speak at 2nd Goke Omisore’s VOR Lecture

Prominent Nigerians, including leaders of thoughts from across ethnic and religion divide, gave their views on the current state of the nation, declaring that the country is currently worse than a Banana Republic while nothing appeared to be working at the moment. 

The speakers, including foremost economist, Professor Pat Utomi; former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Malaifia Obadiah; Senator Henshaw Bassey, Tokunbo Sholu-Ekukinam, among others, gave this verdict on Friday, while speaking at the 2nd Goke Omisore Annual Lecture organised by a Yoruba Intelligentsia Group, Voice of Reason (VOR), in honour of its late Convener, Prince Goke Omisore.

Others are Dele Farotimi and Inibehe Effiong; Social Crusader and Executive Director of Enough Is Enough Nigeria (EiE), Yemi Adamolekun; Mr. Tony Nnadi; country’s representative to the All African Students Union (AASU), Icon Olawale and Niger/Delta Activist, Annkio Briggs, among others.

Speaking at the lecture themed: “Creating an inter-generational dialogue for the Nigeria we want,” which was done virtual, the panellists and guests, decried the current system in the country, saying it was unfair and, therefore, killing the younger generation and their talents, stressing that all indices showed that Nigeria was now a failing state. This was just as they unanimously condemned the level of impunity, lawlessness, anarchy and subjugation of the younger generation, which they noted currently reigns supreme in the country, even as they suggested that the political, economic and social structures of the country be restructured in line with the current realities in the country.

According to them, if such was not done, Nigeria as a sovereign country should be terminated peacefully, warning that if not ended now, there’s higher tendency that the country would terminate herself and should that happen, it would lead to a gargantuan disaster. Obadiah, while noting that Nigeria is a country of greatness but being strangulated by leadership misrule, backed Amotekun and Eastern Security Network (ESN), saying they were legal and doing what they were supposed to do in line with Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

According to the former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), who described the statement credited to some Northern governors that not all Boko Haram are criminals, as an oxymoron of the century, as the 1999 Constitution guarantees self defence to anyone who faces threat to his or her life.

“Nigerian constitution guarantees self defence to anyone who faces threat to his or her life. Therefore, it is your right as a Nigerian to defend yourself and your community whenever you are faced by a threat to live. “Let me say very expressly that Amotekun and Eastern Security Network (ESN) are legal; they are doing what they are supposed to do in line with Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

“Nigeria is a country of greatness but we are being strangulated by leadership misrule. Nigerian music trends in all over the Western Europe; Nigerians are talented, Nigerian leaders are the ones bringing shame on our youths. A Nigerian won the second best prize in computer science in the world some months ago but armed robbers killed him last week in Lagos. Nigeria is a danger killing talents,” he said.

Mrs Sholu-Ekukinam, former Presidential Assistant on Legal Matters, in her submission, lamented the insecurity in the country, saying no one was safe, even as she noted that it was so sad that they do not know their rights anymore, as they were used to impunity, lawlessness, intimidation and subjugation of their rights. She charged the younger generation to take up the challenge and fight for their rights, saying that they needed to do this “as they are currently enslaved, pauperised, oppressed and cheated by the tiny-ruling oligarchy.”

“The younger generation should come up with the type of countries they want. They have the figure and numbers to achieve this. My generation cannot help them,” she said.

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